By Fashion Jeannie
When I was at uni in North America, I discovered vintage and fell in love with the romance of past eras. There was something about the history of fashion that intrigued me; not just of the garment and who had lovingly owned it before, but also the craftsmanship and the pride of the maker. Clothes then were made to last a lifetime. Many were lovingly hand stitched, and the detailing on them was impeccable. I didn’t tell my parents back in Singapore though, that I was buying vintage. Instead, I used the fact to my advantage and told them that I was buying second hand clothes. They were immensely proud of how frugal their shopaholic daughter had become.
When I returned to Singapore after four years, I was thrown into the abyss of cookie cutter fashion. Everyone wore the same thing the same way. Life became vanilla. I tried foraging at the Salvation Army stores and various thrift shops, but no joy. I had to depend on overseas forays to quench my lust for vintage.
Then, a few years ago, vintage shops started popping up in Singapore. Imagine my (internal) whoop of joy as each shop sprouted. We’re not talking about thrift shops here – vintage Pucci, Givenchy, high street brands of the time , can now be found at Déjà vu Vintage, Dustbunny Vintage, Granny’s Day Out, Pluck and a few other ‘specialty’ shops. My life has suddenly become more colourful.
Granny’s Day Out
|Stuck in the middle of shops hawking camera equipment, trainers and other sports paraphernalia, Granny’s Day Out is undoubtedly in a strange location… which to me, makes it appear to be even more of a find.
The shop carries accessories, vintage tees, tea, cocktail and evening dresses. I bought a jersey 70s disco dress there as well as an early 60s tea-party dress. Both of which I’ve worn to death because I get compliments non-stop when I wear them. The both cost less than $200 each.
PS: they sell online too.
Granny’s Day Out
9 Coleman Street
03-25 Peninsula Shopping Centre
Tel: 6838 9774
Déjà Vu Vintage
|When Déjà Vu first started at the old Mandarin Shopping Arcade, it caused flutters in my heart. Finally, there was a place where I could find vintage couture labels (at a fraction of their original cost). Valentino, Givenchy, Pucci evening gowns are available here. I musn’t have been the only one who loved them , because they now have two stores – one at The Cathay, and the other one at Millenia Walk. Both sell contemporary and vintage accessories that complement their collections.|
Déjà Vu Vintage
Handy Road, 01-18
Tel: 6333 6630
Open Mon – Sun: 12pm to 930pm
#01-70 9 Raffles Boulevard
Open Mon – Sun: 11 am to 9pm
Dust Bunny Village
|Pia at Dust Bunny used to sell her vintage bags online, from her home and at various fairs. But now, she has an actual shop that is open by appointment at Temple Street.
Her collection of vintage bags is indisputably the best in town. And now, she has added fashion (lots and lots of it) to her repertoire.
Contact Pia to get an appointment before heading to her shop at Temple Street in Chinatown.
15A Temple Street #02-01.
Mon-Fri (1230pm – 9pm)
| This was one of the first retail outlets to open in Haji Lane which, incidentally, is one of my favourite shopping haunts in Singapore.
Walking into Pluck is a bit like walking into Aladdin’s cave. There is an ice cream parlour within the premises which is filled with vintage wallpaper, jewellery, refurbished vintage furniture pieces, lamps, as well as a small selection of fashion made from vintage fabric. I know it’s not strictly fashion, but I got a folding screen made of vintage wallpaper a few years ago, and I still get compliments on it today. So I had to share this find of a shop with you…
Goblin Market is a bit more off the beaten track. Be prepared to trek to Joo Chiat to discover this find. Never mind, you can drop by the famous Fei Fei wanton mee down the street (it’s at number 62), get a really good (legitimate) massage and explore vintage Singapore along the way.
Goblin Market has been around for a couple of years, but seems to be frequented by those ‘in-the-know’. They stock vintage sunglasses, and an array of dresses, and a cute collection of vintage band tees.
Their website, which is a blog, also serves as an online shop.
267 JooChiat Place
Tel: 6348 8396 (ask for Bruce)
Some tips when shopping for vintage
- Contemporary sizes do not equate to vintage sizes so always try the garment on!
- Vintage clothes have history and you need to check carefully for fading, stains, holes, etc. and if you find a stain don’t assume that it will come out. Stains on the underarm always never come out.
- If collecting, designer labels will command a higher value but there are so many unlabeled gems out there that you will love, so don’t discount them.
- Don’t be afraid to accessorize a vintage dress with a contemporary handbag or jewellery and you can do the same in reverse, in fact it is a must.
- Don’t worry about broken buttons. Those can always be replaced. But check the zips. Those are harder to replace.
- Have your allergy medication on hand. Vintage shops (especially those overseas) can be a dusty affair.
- Have a good tailor on hand. Clothes can be altered to fit. Make sure your seamstress is comfortable with working with older fabrics and finishes of older clothes.
Goblin Market and Deja Vu have moved: please click here for latest info.